News Awareness on the University of Oregon Campus

by Alisha Jucevic

EUGENE, Ore. — University of Oregon students check their smart phones all of the time, but they are not using their phones to look at the news.

According to a survey conducted last week on the UO campus, 60 percent of sophomore and freshman students use their phone to check the news and 20 percent watch the news on TV. Many students said it was unlikely they would follow news sites, or links to news articles.

Cody Harris, freshman undeclared major at the UO said, “I don’t really watch the news.” He said that he did have an app for CNN on his phone, but he rarely checked it.

Unlike Harris, Elise Fylrie said she is very likely to follow links to news sites. The sophomore English major uses multiple social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. She also said she watches The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, reads The Oregonian and looks at Yahoo! News.

The survey showed that 90 percent of students have a Facebook account, and 30 percent have a Twitter account. Alejandro Wallner, freshman chemistry major at the UO has a Twitter account but he said, “I don’t even know why I made one; I don’t use it.”

The likeliness students are exposed to the news through Facebook, depends on how often they follow posted links. Kevin Chu, sophomore economics major at the UO, said his likeliness to follow news links on Facebook depends on his interest in the story.

A 2012 Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism survey looked at the difference in user exposure to news sites on Facebook and Twitter. It showed that 70 percent of news links users see on Facebook comes from friends and family, and 13 percent comes from news organizations and journalists. On Twitter, it showed that people get 36 percent of their news links from friends and family, and 27 percent from news organizations and journalists.

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